Majority of GPs willing to work out-of-hours for more pay

One-third of GPs would work out-of-hours, but only if they receive a pay increase, a survey has revealed.

The research, by website doctors.net.uk, which appeared on ITV’s Tonight with Trevor McDonald, found that 10% of GPs would definitely be willing to work longer hours if they were paid more.

A further 22% said they would consider working out-of-hours if they were offered similar money to that of private health providers.

The research, which questioned 1,537 GPs, also found that 44% of respondents would not be willing to work out-of-hours.

Vanessa Bourne, head of special projects for The Patients Association, told Tonight: “I think that the figure of one in three is actually very interesting. It suggests that they are unhappy with their out-of-hours provider and it means that they’re not happy GPs, and an unhappy GP doesn’t do the best for his patients.”

Health secretary Alan Johnson last month wrote to every GP in England asking them to work evenings and weekends in the hope it would reduce the level of sickness absence taken by workers.

Johnson hoped that practices could open, on average, three extra hours a week. However, the British Medical Association (BMA) opposed these plans, complaining that GPs should be offered more money for more hours.

BMA members have since voted overwhelmingly to accept the government’s proposal but expressed their anger over the level of pay on offer.

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